The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to destroy evidence contained in the BVAS machine under the guise of reconfiguration.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, raised the alarm at a press conference in Abuja, late on Tuesday.
“This reprehensible action by INEC to frustrate the desire of Nigerians to get redress through the court is a clear recipe for crisis and a deliberate design by the Commission to derail our democracy and trigger anarchy in the country.”
Ologunagba invited Nigerians to recall how the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu superintended over the manipulation of the results of the presidential election and hurriedly announced a winner in spite of widespread outcry and complain over numerous evidence of malpractices and violation of several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 by INEC and its officials.
The PDP spokesman further said, “The INEC Chairman bypassed all the steps and procedures provided by the Electoral Act 2022 for the declaration of results, including to announce and declare only results that were transmitted directly from the polling units to the INEC server/website and to review the results in the event of disputes and objections as to the correctness and consistency of the collated result.
“For emphasis Section 64 (6) of the Electoral Act clearly states that: ‘(6) Where during collation of results, there is a dispute regarding a collated result or the result of an election from any polling unit, the collation officer or returning officer shall use the following to determine the correctness of the disputed result-
“(a) the original of the disputed collated result for each polling unit where the election is disputed;
“(b)the smart card reader or other technology device used for accreditation of voters in each polling unit where the election is disputed for the purpose of obtaining accreditation data directly from the smart card reader or technology device.
“(c) data of accreditation recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed as prescribed under section 47 (2) of this Act.
“(d) the votes and result of the election recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed, as prescribed under section 60 (4) of this Act.
“Furthermore, Section 65 (1)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2022 states as follows;
“S. 65.-(1) The decision of the returning officer shall be final on any question arising from or relating to-…. (c) declaration of scores of candidates and the return of a candidate;
“Provided that the Commission shall have the power within seven days to review the declaration and return where the Commission determines that the said declaration and return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations and guidelines, and manual for the election.